Meg Cranston's sunny touch transforms conceptual gestures into light verse. "Shipwreck" is the title of a cockaded tricorner hat imprisoned in a glass case, two sides of which are netted with a yellowed membrane like sea foam. In "Crestfallen," a plaid muffler with dangling ends adds the finishing touch to an ornamental spray of bent golf clubs hanging on the wall--mingling the notion of a preposterous heraldic device and a touch of fall chill with the humiliation of a game played over par. "Inconsolable" is a large framed swatch of late-lamented mauve silk with a scuffed-up center surrounding a rip.
Cranston's brightly exploratory approach sometimes gets too coy, as in "Everything is Hidden," a declaration referring to a beige blanket spread out on the floor to hide a low-lying bump. The slickly vacuous "Last Chance" (a boat paddle with the title spelled out in jumping capitals) is another dead end. But the artist's CalArts-nurtured fancifulness and wit are welcome in the sober world of language art. (Jeffrey Linden Gallery, 625 N. Almont Drive, to March 19.)